Last week Mandla Rayi, who chairs Parliament’s select committee on economic and business development, dashed off an obsequious media statement thanking President Cyril Ramaphosa for taking "the extraordinary step" of cushioning the country from fuel price hikes. In his eagerness, Rayi rather overdid it, saying: "It has never happened that a head of state will go this far … this kind of commitment to a nation is most welcome." Rayi was under the impression that Ramaphosa was expanding the remit of the panel of experts appointed by the Treasury to review zero-rated VAT items to include the effect of the fuel hikes. If Rayi had actually read last week’s cabinet statement, he would have seen that the only thing Ramaphosa was doing about the fuel price hikes was to express regret and urge firms to absorb some of the increase.To be fair, Ramaphosa also assured everyone that he was leading a team to attract investment, because "growing our economy will go a long way [towards] stabilising o...

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